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Researcher Bias in Software Engineering Experiments: A Qualitative Investigation
University of Bari, ITA.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0679-4361
University of Basilicata, ITA.
University of Bari, ITA.
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2020 (English)In: Proceedings - 46th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, SEAA 2020 / [ed] Martini A.,Wimmer M.,Skavhaug A., Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. , 2020, p. 276-283, article id 9226297Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Researcher Bias (RB) occurs when researchers influence the results of an empirical study based on their expectations. RB might be due to the use of Questionable Research Practices (QRPs). In research fields like medicine, blinding techniques have been applied to counteract RB. We conducted an explorative qualitative survey to investigate RB in Software Engineering (SE) experiments, with respect to: (i) QRPs potentially leading to RB, (ii) causes behind RB, and (iii) possible actions to counteract RB including blinding techniques. Data collection was based on semi-structured interviews. We interviewed nine active experts in the empirical SE community. We then analyzed the transcripts of these interviews through thematic analysis. We found that some QRPs are acceptable in certain cases. Also, it appears that the presence of RB is perceived in SE and, to counteract RB, a number of solutions have been highlighted: some are intended for SE researchers and others for the boards of SE research outlets. © 2020 IEEE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. , 2020. p. 276-283, article id 9226297
Keywords [en]
blinding, interview, researcher bias, Survey, Engineering, Industrial engineering, Blinding technique, Data collection, Empirical studies, Qualitative surveys, Research fields, Semi structured interviews, Software engineering experiments, Thematic analysis, Application programs
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-20819DOI: 10.1109/SEAA51224.2020.00054ISI: 000702094100043Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85096546489ISBN: 9781728195322 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-20819DiVA, id: diva2:1507592
Conference
46th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, SEAA 2020, Kranj, Slovenia, 26 August 2020 through 28 August 2020
Part of project
SERT- Software Engineering ReThought, Knowledge Foundation
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Note

open access

Available from: 2020-12-08 Created: 2020-12-08 Last updated: 2021-10-21Bibliographically approved

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Fucci, Davide

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